Following a timeline will keep you on track for your move and make sure you aren’t rushed at the last minute. A good guideline to follow is allowing 8 weeks to prepare a DIY move, or 12 weeks if you’re hiring movers (especially in the summer). Let’s break down the different phases of moving so you can get your move done with less stress.

Weeks 1-2: Gather Supplies

Starting 8 weeks before you plan on moving, you should figure out how much stuff you need to move, and what you need for moving supplies. This is a good time to inventory your belongings and figure out what to keep, sell, donate, or recycle. It’s also a good time to contact a reliable moving company if you haven’t already. 

Weeks 3-4: Declutter

It’s time to go through the garage and the basement. Find all the things that have been tucked away for who-knows-how-long and make a decision. If you have things you don’t need or want, they can be sold, donated, or recycled. If the items are in good condition, sell or donate them. Other people can get use out of your old belongings, and even broken items can be upcycled by artists or hobbyists. If the items are beyond repair or completely useless, dispose of them properly. Check out Earth911 for recycling solutions near you. We want to limit the amount of waste that goes into landfills as much as possible. Decluttering will help you feel better, knowing that you’re not paying to move things you don’t need.

Now’s the time to contact your utility companies to prepare for services to be disconnected at your old address and connected at your new home. Consider keeping your internet connection until you’re ready to leave. You may need it for communication, information, and entertainment. Once the TV is packed away, it’s nice to have a laptop or tablet to unwind after a day of packing.

Week 5-6: Pack Nonessentials

Start packing a little at a time, starting with the things you use the least. If you can get by without it until the move, pack it. Make sure fragile items are packed securely and labeled. If you want to move anything extremely valuable or fragile in your own car, make sure to note that and separate those items. It’s also a good time to stop restocking any food or cleaning supplies you don’t want to move. Use up what you have left and you won’t have to move it. 

Gather your important documents into a safe place where you won’t lose them. Change your address with USPS to make sure your mail is forwarded to your new home.

Week 7: Pack the Rest

By now you should only have frequently-used items left to pack, getting closer to 100% packed. Keep essential items that you’re going to use until moving day. Make sure to hold onto clothes, toiletries (especially toilet paper), and a set of dishes for each person.

If your vehicle is due for regular service, get it done before moving. If there’s no service needed, give it an inspection yourself, check fluid levels, tire pressure, and lights.

Week 8: Finish Packing

The only things not in boxes should be the bare essentials needed for the last few days. Make sure you have your important documents and personal travel bag. On the day before the move, clean out the fridge and freezer, along with anything left in the cupboards. Having your belongings ready for the movers to put on the truck will expedite the packing process. When you think everything is packed, do one final check to make sure you’ve got everything, and enjoy your new home!